Yes, stereotypes are hurtful, no matter what they're about. And usually the insults are unintentional.

There's plenty I'm defensive about when it comes to DS, mostly because he doesn't fit the mold around here and I have received unsolicited comments from family and friends about what's wrong with him, or what's wrong with my parenting. And even though the experts have reassured me that there is nothing wrong with him or my parenting of him (and that in fact, it is to be admired), I still second-guess myself when faced with comment du jour. And it certainly doesn't make me feel any better when I hear "he's so much better." Still the same kid as far as I'm concerned. (And most of these comments have to do with sensory and attentional issues that my parents and teachers at his old school do not understand or accept - like covering his ears when he was 5 in the planetarium just before they showed the big bang, or not wanting to go to birthday parties until he was in first grade). And around here, I'm defensive about our decision to send him to PS, I'm defensive about considering HS, etc., etc. But I'm getting better. Still, the comment that makes me bristle is when someone comments about someone else's child that he or she just needs discipline. How do they know what that child needs?

I wish I could ignore it all, but I can't. I envy those who can. Still, it won't keep my from my appointed rounds... (that's what they say about the post office, right?)